STI and USec Perry

Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon M. Lopez (bottom right) and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo (bottom left) address the participants of the joint web-meeting on the Philippines organized by MEDEF International and the Philippine Embassy in Paris.

PARIS- Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon M. Lopez invited French businesses to actively consider economic growth opportunities in the Philippines as it embarks on building a “better normal” in the midst of the global challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in a joint web-meeting co-organized by MEDEF International, the largest business federation in France, and the Philippine Embassy in Paris on 16 September 2020.

With the theme “Rebuild PH!”, Secretary Lopez reiterated that the Philippines “has strong economic fundamentals to address the Covid-19 pandemic” and offers numerous opportunities to complement the economic relaunch activities of the French government and private sector. Secretary Lopez outlined the continuing efforts to balance the health and the economic demands during the pandemic. He shared that the Philippines is on the road to economic recovery with exports, manufacturing, and employment numbers picking up.

He expressed optimism in the Philippines regaining its 6-7% GDP growth momentum in the months to come through sustained efforts in “revitalizing businesses, investments, livelihoods, and domestic demand.” He cited the recent economic stimulus packages to help keeps jobs and income, efforts to improve the investment climate, and continued public infrastructure spending through the updated flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program as drivers for this revitalization.

Rebuild PH

Secretary Lopez delivers his “Rebuild PH!” presentation before MEDEF International participants.

Board of Investments Managing Head and DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said that with France as the second largest economy in the EU and as a global powerhouse in key sectors like electronics, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and shipbuilding, it can complement the Philippine growth strategy because these sectors are also Philippine economic priorities.

Undersecretary Rodolfo highlighted the robust opportunities for growth in manufacturing, shared services, and public-private partnerships in infrastructure, including in the transport, power, water, information and communication technology, and urban development and renewal sectors. He said that the “Philippines’ prime attributes of cost efficiencies, reservoir of intellectual talent, and market leverage are well-aligned with the challenges of Covid-19 recovery.” He also underscored the strong Philippine regime in the protection of intellectual property as a strong enabler for investment and innovation.

Secretary Lopez and Undersecretary Rodolfo also interacted with the web-meeting participants by responding to different queries on issues ranging from shipping, logistics, satellite communications, free trade arrangements, construction, among others.

Group Shot

The panelists in the web-seminar also included the Special Representative of the Foreign Minister for economic relations with ASEAN François Corbin, President of the France-Philippines Business Council of MEDEF International Philippe Louis-Dreyfus, Philippine Ambassador to France Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro, and French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicolas Galey. END